EXCLUSIVE BREAST FEEDING(EBF)
DEFINITION: EBF is the process by which mother breastfed her baby with breast milk alone for the first six month as the baby’s demand not a mother’s will. Water is not advisable to be added in the baby’s’ diet. However, Oral rehydration therapy, drops/syrups of vitamin and other medications can be given when necessary
WHY EBF? OR ADVANTAGES OR IMPORTANCE OF EBF
- TO THE INFANT;
- Breast milk contains all the nutrients an infant needs in the first six months of life.
- The breast milk is easily digestible and assimilated by the baby’s intestine.
- Colostrum helps a newborn’s digestive tract develop and prepare itself to digest breast milk
- colostrum,the first yellowish milk that the baby suck in the first few days helps protects against diarrhea and common childhood illnesses such as pneumonia, asthma, ear infection etc, because breast milk contains antibodies that aid to fight bacteria and virus.
- Recent studies have reveal that ebf gives a long-term benefit such as reducing the risk of overweight and obesity in children and adolescence.
- It assists the baby to easily attain developmental milestone.
- Breastfeeding gives the child high IQ quotient in later stage of life.
- TO THE MOTHER;
- It Bonds the mother to the Child. This is as result of skin-to- skin and eye contact which co-exists during breastfeeding lingers to keep the child close to their mother. This explains the reason while children are more close to their mother than father.
- It is economical and very easy to prepare.
- It prevents the mother from losing the child as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- It lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer ,osteoporosis etc
- Breast feeding burns down calories thereby aiding the mother to reduce weight.
- During Exclusive breastfeeding, the uterus, cervix and vagina return to its normal form.
THE ABC MEASURES OF EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING
- AWARENESS: This is the process by which the mother ascertains when the baby is angry which can be through infants moving their hands toward their mouths, making sucking noises or mouth movements, or move towards the breast, yawning etc and breast feed .The baby must not cry.This kind of breast-feeding is known as feeding on demand.
- BE PATIENT: Baby should be breastfed as long as he want,it should not be done in a hurry.15-20 minutes is the time advocated for a meal on each breast.
- COMFORT: make yourself as well as the baby comfortable.
Breastfeeding In Nigeria
The need to protect, promote and support breastfeeding in our communities has been widely recognized. It is in realization of this noble objective that the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Services in conjunction with UNICEF and WHO launched the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) to protect, promote and support breastfeeding in Nigeria. To achieve this objective, a number of Teaching and Specialist hospitals were designated as baby friendly hospitals following the “Innocenti declaration”. The Innocenti Declaration has as its main objectives the promotion of early initiation of breastfeeding (within 30minutes of delivery), EBF for the first six months of life, breastfeeding on demand and continuing breastfeeding with complementary feeds into the second year of life In Nigeria, breastfeeding is universal with almost all babies being breastfed. However, the practice of EBF is rare with only 17% of children younger than six months being exclusively breastfed.
FACTORS AFFECTING EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING
- Illiteracy and ignorance.
- Disease conditions affecting the breast such as mastitis, cancer of the breast.
- Culture and religion
- Chronic Infectious Disease like HIV/AIDS,Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B & C.